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“Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.”

Awe, the innocence of a child and the look of wonderment across their face can be priceless and so it was for this grandmother when her 5-year-old granddaughter, Emory, asked if she would be writing any more books. Her reply to the child was, “Yes, I do plan on writing more. In fact, I have just written one and the title is the ‘Farting Four-Toed Troll.’”

War has come to my yard!  But this battle doesn’t involve modern conventional weapons with individual rounds of ammunition that cost almost as much as my eldest and most expensive daughter’s wardrobe.  Instead, this is a battle against one of the most annoying forces of nature known to man–the scourge of autumn leaves. 

The third annual Reel East Texas Film Festival is underway this week with several days of film screenings, events and awards. Filmmakers from across the state and the country are descending on Kilgore to screen their films, answer audience questions and network with other filmmakers.

It can be lonely, arduous work preparing a week’s meals as a solo act, and Kilgore Public Library staffers hope for a more festive atmosphere when they gather food preppers en masse this month. Set for 5:30 p.m. Nov. 19, the library’s Freezer Meals Prep Party is pretty self-explanatory, according to KPL director Stacey Cole.

“Trains are wonderful... To travel by train is to see nature and human beings, towns and churches and rivers, in fact, to see life.”

It was Veterans Day, yes, but Victor Boyd shared a memorial as well.

While he was serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Wisconsin, the Kilgore native remembers the day – April 19, 1989 – when an explosion rocked the battleship Iowa, his former assignment. “47 men died that day,” he told the men and women gathered for this year’s Veterans Day ceremony Monday morning at Harris Street Park. “Out of those 47 men, 26 of them I knew personally. So, I vow to always remember the Iowa 47.”

He stepped up to the podium on stage in the fellowship hall of First Baptist Church in Kilgore with a slide presentation well-prepared to capture the attention of a large crowd of listeners.  The 1961 KHS graduate began to talk about a subject dear to his heart and one he had approached before only this time his presentation began with Bible verses and the importance of God’s presence at NASA.

In 1935, the city commission – in those days a three-man (all male until Janice Hancock was elected more than six decades later) panel – agreed the city needed a motor grader. As is custom, they solicited bids and received three: $3003.50, $3006.50 and $3006.50. Ultimately, they bought the grader for $3006.50 and we’re left to wonder why that one bidder failed to get the memo.

Nothing to see here, folks. No collusion here, move along.

“People want to be told what to do so badly that they’ll listen to anyone.”

“I cannot be an optimist, but I am a prisoner of hope.” These words spoken by Dr. Cornel West of Harvard Divinity School obviously assume a conceptual difference between optimism and hope. What is the difference? Are Christians called to be optimists or people of hope? Can we be both, or should we choose one over the other?

They’re some of downtown Kilgore’s biggest fans, regular attendees and participants in events during the past several years. Vivian and Fred Gebhardt have been angling to put down roots in the Main Street District for a couple of years, but it was a matter of finding the right fit.

“United wishes and good will cannot overcome brute facts. The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”

Spend $25 or more at participating locations to net a golden ticket. Drop tickets off at one of three prize barrel locations for chances at one of Kilgore Main Street’s prize, including one valued at more than $1,200

“If I could turn back time / If I could find a way / I’d take back those words that hurt you / And you’d stay.”

Local parade-planners are putting their organizational skills to the test once again as they recruit entries for events in Kilgore and Liberty City. At Kilgore Chamber of Commerce, there’s a little more than a month until the 89th annual Kilgore Christmas Parade rolls out at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3. In the Sabine area, firefighters are getting prepped to get moving at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.

Now that America is deep into the bowels of football season, I’m experiencing my yearly gastrointestinal angst about my Texas A&M Aggies. I call them “my” Texas A&M Aggies because I spent an untold amount of my parents’ cash in College Station on textbooks, apartment rent, and Double Dave’s pizza rolls in my pursuit of a Bachelor of Arts in English (yes, English) from Texas A&M University.

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

Kilgore is known for many things: the East Texas Oil Boom, the Kilgore College Rangerettes and the oil derricks which make up its skyline. Thanks to the hard work of Lorenz Maycher and many talented musicians, the City of Stars is quickly gaining a reputation for another of its features: the…

In recognition of National Family Caregivers Month, ETCOG’s Area Agency on Aging of East Texas has joined with the St. Louis Baptist Church of Tyler’s Comfort and Care Ministry to bring a free conference for caregivers, “Who cares? We do!”

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Earlier in this millenium, Mayor Ronnie Spradlin and our dear pal Jean Laird decided Kilgore’s municipal finery should include a coat of daffodils. Together they ordered a huge quantity of daffodil bulbs and set about turning Kilgore yellow.

They came, those that could. One more time they came to sit under the giant oak that adorned the home of Dorothy Mitchell. It was a spot they had gathered before on numerous occasions to visit with friends and family, to hold reunions and more importantly to hand down history to the next gen…

For Mike Chubboy, a man’s whiskers are about a lot more than just keeping his chin warm. Chef at Brigitta’s Hungarian Restaurant, Chubboy has some life lessons on the menu for the eatery’s Oktoberfest celebration Saturday.

“Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.”

“My pro tips?” Lauren Cammack laughs incredulously at first, but after a moment’s thought, yes, she does have some pointers for visitors attending the East Texas Oilmen’s Chili Cook-off. Setup for the downtown event began Tuesday and everything should be in place by midday today before the 27th annual celebration’s participants gather tonight for the year’s Wednesday evening teams-only networking and revelry. The main event runs 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday.

Jump-scare classics, comedy and even some family-friendly frights: there’s an eclectic mix of films on the schedule for Kilgore College’s first Horror Movie Festival. The five-day event kicks-off Friday evening in Dodson with one scary movie nightly in addition to an all-ages matinee Sunday afternoon.

In connection with a televised town-hall on LGBTQ+ issues earlier this month, Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke said that he was in favor of revoking the tax-exempt status of churches that oppose same-sex “marriage”. Aside from the arguments for and against churches’ in general having such tax-exempt status, the federal government’s denying particular churches’ tax-exempt status because of what they teach or do certainly seems to be contrary to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution’s prohibition of “establishing” one religion or permitting another’s free exercise.